Beliefnet
Your Morning Cup of Inspiration

There is a difference between being excellent in one area of your life and being a person of excellence.  I can be an excellent tuba player.  I can be an excellent inventor.  Neither of those things makes me an excellent person.

If I am a person of excellence I am trying to be successful in all areas of my life.  Now that doesn’t mean that I am attempting to be perfect.  We are human beings.  We are by definition imperfect creatures.  However, we should be striving for excellence in everything that we do.

You probably know of at least one or two people who have achieved this kind of personal success. I do.  My former boss is a person of excellence.  He treats everyone he encounters with respect.  He is completely devoted to his wife and children.  And whatever he demands of his staff, he demands double of himself.  His high standards pervade every area of his life.

I also know a lady who is a homemaker. She does everything with such care.  She is a thoughtful mother.  She goes above and beyond in volunteering for her church.  Her home is beautiful, and she is a top notch cook.  Moreover, she is friendly and always looks lovely.  She is the complete package of grace and kindness.

Neither of those people is perfect. But what sets them apart is their desire to give their very best to everything that they do. They are persons of excellence.  And that is how you become a successful human being, which is very different from being a successful athlete, actor or business person.

When we seek success, most of us really are seeking two things. First, we want to succeed in our accomplishments.  But then we also want to be happy.  The problem is that you can succeed in one area of your life and be miserable at the same time.  Why?  Because it isn’t enough to succeed in just one discrete area of your life.  To put it bluntly, you can have a wildly successful career, but if you are in a miserable marriage, you will be unhappy.   Likewise, you can have a great family life, but if you don’t have your own area of accomplishment, your self-esteem will suffer.  That is why the only way to achieve true success and happiness is to demand excellence from yourself in all areas of your life.

It is worthwhile to consider Paul’s advice in his Epistle to the Colossians:

“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”  Colossians 3:17

Paul doesn’t just tell the Colossians to pray or worship in the name of Jesus. Instead he says “whatever you do, in word or deed,” do it in the name of Jesus.  He is conveying the concept that our entire life should be about serving God.  That means that everything that we do, from making our beds to doing our jobs to parenting our children, should be done with our best effort.  Everything that we do should be done as an act of service to God.

This week, think about all the areas of your life. Are you giving your best to everything?  Perhaps there are ways in which you could bring a better effort.  Remember that when everything we do is in service to God and we give our best effort, then we truly become people of excellence.

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